Ristorante di Poggio Antico

53024 Montalcino (Siena), Italy

Tel. +39 0577 848044

Getting a good meal in Montalcino isn’t as easy as one might think. Even though Montalcino produces America’s favorite high-end red Italian wine, the town lacks great restaurants, something that is amazing, considering the wide range of high quality ingredients available to local chefs. Poggio Antico’s restaurant has been through a few incarnations, but if this dinner is representative, the current team is doing fabulous work. The menu is based on traditional favorites, but prepared and presented with a modern flair.

All three dishes I tasted were stellar. I would not hesitate ordering them again. The pappardelle was exceptional. Perfectly cooked, the pasta was bursting with flavor from the garlic and rosemary in the dough, flavors that worked beautifully with the guinea ragout. The rack of lamb was delicious, but the veal cheek was out of this world. Both main courses were fabulous with our wines.

We started with Krug’s 1998 Clos du Mesnil, a wine that keeps getting better and better with the passage of time. This bottle wasn’t perfect, but then again, it has just been shipped in from London. Soldera’s 1990 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva became something of an obsession during this trip. At its best, the 1990 Riserva is an icon among the world’s legendary wines. As I learned over the course of two days and four bottles, there is quite a bit of variation with the 1990 Riserva, something readers should keep in mind before going out into the market looking for it. The right bottle, though, is transporting. Our best bottles were loaded with exotic dark fruit, incense, flowers, licorice and tar. They showed more than enough depth to last for another 10-15 years, if not longer. When they are on, Soldera’s Brunelli are in a league of their own. I was equally thrilled with Cerbaiona’s 2006 Brunello di Montalcino. The 2006 easily lived up to the praise I bestowed upon it last year in The Wine Advocate. Though incredibly young, it was impossible to miss the wine’s pedigree and sheer class. The 2006 is a powerful, virile Brunello built for the cellar. On this night, it was simply monumental.


Homemade pappardelle with garlic and rosemary and guinea ragout

Rack of lamb with herbs and sautéed vegetables in casserole

Tender veal cheek with roasted spring onions



 Krug Clos du Mesnil 



Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva



Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino


Note: since this article was first published, Ristorante di Poggio Antico has undergone a management change.

-- Antonio Galloni

 [Photo and credit: Ristorante di Poggio Antico]